One of the things I love about going to Walt Disney World is that it’s much more than just rides. That’s what makes the Disney Parks so special!
So on your next visit, make sure to take in all the magic around you, including the extra experiences such as these playgrounds at Disney World. Not only are they fun, but giving your kiddo a break from the lines will help keep everyone happy.
But here’s the thing…a lot of these can’t be found on the maps that you get at the park! Don’t worry, though, I got you. If your little one is OVER IT when it comes to waiting in line for rides at Walt Disney World, check out these fun play areas around the parks:
(Note: if a location is listed as the exit of a ride, you do not need to ride that attraction to be able to enjoy the play area. Just go in the exit!)
Magic Kingdom Play Areas
Magic Kingdom is the most kid-friendly park at Walt Disney World, so of course, they have some fun playgrounds for the littlest members of your family!
Dumbo Play Area
You’ll find this play area located in the queue of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and it’s probably one of the best playgrounds at Magic Kingdom!
As you wait in line for the ride, you’ll come across an area where you can continue on to the ride or take a break at this play area. When we visited last time, we were able to come and go as we please (there was just a nice little message that would come on every so often over the speaker to remind us to go enjoy the ride). But on busy days, you’ll get a pager (similar to a restaurant) that will go off when it’s time to get back in line.
The great thing about this playground in particular is that it’s inside, so you can get away from the heat. And there’s something for all ages. There’s a smaller play area in the center for the little ones. And there’s a bigger structure around the perimeter, complete with climbing areas and slides for older kids.
Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station
This splash pad is located by The Barnstormer and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. It’s themed as the circus train from the movie Dumbo.
It’s a great spot to cool off on a hot day at Magic Kingdom. But be warned that your little one (and you!) can get pretty wet! It is a splash pad after all.
And just a tip if you’re over that way…there are great bathrooms right next to this area.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Queue
Ok, ok…I know this is technically still waiting in line, but it’s fun! From pinwheels to drums to playing in honey, having something fun to do will help your little ones from getting antsy while waiting to get on the ride.
You can even check out some of the houses where your favorite friends from Hundred Acre Wood live!
It’s good to note that if you use Disney Genie+, you’ll bypass the fun part of the queue.
Tom Sawyer Island
I feel like this is a hidden gem in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World! To get to this island, head over to Frontierland and hop on the boat.
Once you arrive at Tom Sawyer Island, let the exploring begin! You can walk into caves or visit a fort. Coming here will allow your little ones to get some energy out and enjoy a nice, quiet area away from the crowds.
There are bathrooms on the island, too. So when nature calls (and we all know that when little kids say they need to go potty, it means now!), you don’t have to take the boat back to find bathrooms. Unfortunately, strollers are not allowed on the island, though, so make sure you park it before getting in the queue for the boat.
The Laughin’ Place
This play space in the Magic Kingdom is located at the exit of what used to be Splash Mountain (they’ve actually removed “The Laughin’ Place” signs, but I’ll keep it labeled like this until the new name is announced).
I’m not sure if or when this play area will close down due to construction happening at that ride. Fingers crossed they update it a bit as they update the ride!
It’s designed for little kids under 40 inches tall and has a soft ground, so they can have fun without getting hurt. At this play area, you’ll find a little house and slide for your kids to explore.
EPCOT Play Areas
EPCOT is my go-to for all things play areas in Disney World! One of our favorite resorts on property is Disney’s BoardWalk. And walking over to EPCOT each night (with our hopper pass!) to let the kids run around while we enjoy a drink is the perfect way to end a day at Disney World.
Advanced Training Lab
To find this area, you’ll want to go to the exit of Mission: SPACE. Here, you can fly over the surface of Mars when you enter Mission: Space Race. Or you can head over to Space Base, a huge play area where your kids can run around. Space Base is for kids ages 2-12.
Green Landing Family Play Zone
The Green Landing Family Play Zone is near the Creations Shop in between the front of the park and the World Showcase.
When this first opened, I thought it was temporary. But I was happy to find out that it’s a permanent fixture! And my boys ask to visit this play area every single time we visit EPCOT. Your kiddos will love climbing around this play space.
SeaBase is located in the same building as The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Turtle Talk with Crush. And it’s one of my boys’ favorite spots at Disney World!
In this area, you’ll find a 5.7-gallon habitat with thousands of sea animals including dolphins, sharks, and fish. You also can’t miss the fun photo-op inside Bruce the shark’s mouth!
ImageWorks-The “What If” Labs
ImageWorks-The “What If” Labs is located at the exit of Journey into Imagination with Figment. This fun area has a bunch of hands-on exhibits to get your kiddos moving and help them explore their senses. There are also character meet-and-greets here.
Right outside this area, you’ll find jumping water fountains and an upside-down waterfall. I loved this area as a kid, and now it’s so fun to see my kids enjoy it, too.
Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future
This area is located at the exit of Spaceship Earth. And if you ride the attraction, you’ll be able to use a kiosk here to send a digital postcard of the video you made during the ride. I always love looking up at the big screen to see where everyone is from that was on the ride.
There are also some other fun activities here, like driving simulators and assembling a digital human body.
Festival Play Area and World Showcase
There is often a pop-up play area during festivals, so keep an eye out! And don’t forget that you can always explore the countries to let your little one get some energy out, too.
There are often scavenger hunts around the World Showcase throughout the year (my boys loved looking for Easter eggs one year!). And there’s a Kidcot Fun Stop in every country, where your kids can pick up an international memento at the corresponding country.
Animal Kingdom Play Areas
You’ll find this HUGE play area in DinoLand U.S.A. As the largest playground at the Disney theme parks, you’re sure to find something your little one loves at The Boneyard. Kids ages 10 and under are able to play here.
At this play area in Animal Kingdom, your little ones will have fun climbing, going down slides, and digging for fossils.
Africa Drumming Area
Located right across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa at Animal Kingdom, you’ll find a fun drumming area. We never visit Animal Kingdom without stopping to play the drums here!
Pandora Drumming Area
Similar to the last one, there’s also a drumming area located in Pandora-The World of Avatar. While your kiddos are welcome to drum away, there are also performers who come out at times and drum, too. And they are so fun to watch!
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
This isn’t necessarily a play area, but it’s still a fun area to visit during your time at Animal Kingdom. To access this area, you’ll take a train that departs from Africa.
Once you arrive, follow the path until you get to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Here you’ll find a petting zoo and educational exhibits. You may even get to do a character meet-and-greet (we met Doc McStuffins here once) or see Disney’s veterinarians in action.
Trails and Animal Viewing Locations at Animal Kingdom
Make sure to check out the My Disney Experience app to see where the trails and animal viewing locations are throughout the park. Animal Kindom is home to thousands of animals, so you’ll want to check them out!
Hollywood Studios Play Areas
Unfortunately, there aren’t any dedicated play areas in Hollywood Studios at this time. But here are some areas where my little ones like to get some energy out:
Life-size Cars Statues
Right outside of Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, there are a couple of Cars character statues ready to have their picture taken! While there’s not a lot of playing going on here, my boys still love to roam around the cars and check them out.
Disney Junior Dance Party
This is actually an attraction, but it was pretty much made to let kids get some energy out! At this show, there are no seats. Everyone is either sitting on the floor or up dancing.
Throughout the show, your favorite Disney Junior characters will lead all sorts of fun dances and activities. It’s always a nice break from the heat, and my boys love to dance (just like their mama!).
Walkway by Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
This area is usually a little quieter and has “snow” piles against the buildings. My boys got a kick out of seeing a snowman in Florida! And of course, they loved climbing on the snow piles.
While it’s not a big play area by any means, it’s still nice to get away from the crowds when you’re back in this area.
And that’s a wrap…
There you have it! A full list of the Disney World playgrounds that are located in the theme parks. There are also plenty of playgrounds located around the Disney resorts, so make sure to check those out, too.
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